~ The Assault ~ pg 3

Two of them were saddled and waiting when Borris rode into the clearing holding his torch hand high – Chink on the warhorse Garvis had left behind when he’d killed one of his own men. “Consider it payment for your troubles,” he had mocked before riding out into the forests. Demil stood holding the reigns while he waited, unnaturally still.

Borris was followed by Civyl and another woman Alex did not recognize. He pulled his horse closer to his brother as he frowned. “I thought you were going to fetch Nivia. We need her. Where is she?”

The woman clucked her tongue and shook her head as she spoke up with a disapproving tone. “I am here, you stubborn man! Why are you not resting instead of bleeding into your tunic?” Alex stared at her. She sounded like Nivia; held her bearing like Nivia, but she was barely over twenty seasons of birth!

Borris must have understood his skeptical gaze. “It is true, Alex. This is Nivia.”

She nodded curtly climbing off her horse and passing the reigns to Demil, “And I insist you get off that forsaken beast and get in bed this instant so I can see to your injury!”

“I don’t need your ministrations,” Alex gruffed as he backed up his stallion to stand between the others. “It was a simple flesh wound and Chink took care of it. Besides we nee–“

“Wait a minute,” Civyl interrupted, “Why do you need Nivia, then, if not for your wound?”

Borris turned a chagrined look towards him and the torchlight brightened Civyl’s face. Alex blinked at him, for both his new mis-colored eye and for his question. Didn’t he know? “For Fiora, of course!”

“What?!” Civyl bellowed, his indignant anger snapping at Borris. “You didn’t tell me she was wounded, too!”

Borris paled as the fire in his torch flared to match Civyl’s mood. To his credit, he did not drop it. “She didn’t want you to know! She feared you would not wait for us!” Alex struggled to make sense of Borris’s claim. When had Fiora told him this?

He did not have time to think on it further because Civyl was already pulling his horse forward. “Tears of Wisdom!” he exclaimed, “Why are we just sitting here then?”

The End

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